Can Functional Medicine Help Anxiety and Depression?

Anxiety and depression are health concerns across the globe. Roughly 7 percent of the world’s population is suffering from one of these two conditions, with a growing number of young and old experiencing a rise in mental health issues. 

As people struggle to find a solution to mental health, they are typically left with drug therapy and counseling as their only options. The body is one system that works together, both brain and body. If you have ever struggled with anxiety or depression you understand that the effects spill over into other areas of life. Inflammation and biochemistry pay a huge role in mental health and they seem to be forgotten with traditional treatments. Functional medicine is the only approach that comprehensively works to alter all aspects of your chemical makeup and works to empower you to take control again.  With a functional medicine approach to healing, the results are extraordinary.

What Traditional Medicine Misses With Mental Health

Currently, if an individual is suffering from constant anxiety or a depressive episode, they may visit their primary care physician to discuss their symptoms. From there, the doctor may prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or another antidepressant form. To go along with the medication, the physician may encourage their patient to seek talk therapy to help discuss their thoughts and concerns with a psychologist or psychiatrist. 

While this course of treatment may be beneficial for some individuals, it misses the mark on the direct relationship between mental and physical health. In medicine, there is often a distinction made between the body and mind — however, the two are not independently exclusive, they are tied to each other. 

Therefore, when traditional medicine seeks to treat the mind, they are often ignoring what role the body is playing in relation to anxiety or depression. Studies have been conducted that link body inflammation to depression and anxiety. Evidence like this calls for a holistic approach to mental health, as opposed to just balancing brain chemicals and using cognitive behavioral therapy. 

How Functional Medicine Treats Anxiety and Depression

By working with a functional medicine doctor to address anxiety and depression illness, you open the door to a comprehensive look at your wellbeing. When we treat patients here at The Epigenetics Healing Center, we complete extensive testing to best identify possible triggers that have lead to long-standing anxiety and/or depression. 

Some testing we do includes: 

  • Genetic Testing 
  • Blood Work 
  • Inflammatory Modulator Testing 
  • GI Tract Testing 

Through this series of testing, we can hopefully narrow down markers that might be affecting your body and eliciting an inflammatory response. Studies support the notion that lifestyle factors carry significant weight in the overall wellbeing of your mental health. 

Items like diet, level of exercise, social relationships, mental stimulation, alcohol/drug use, environment settings, and more all play a piece in the biological and psychological health of yourself. Functional medicine seeks to understand the root cause of your illness and then implement sustainable lifestyle modifications that will improve your health moving forward. 

In the case of anxiety and depression, if we can improve your lifestyle in incremental ways, we can help lower systemic inflammation and get the body to return to a state of homeostasis. With this full-body approach, there is no dependency on antidepressants – you are empowered to take control of your own health.

Dr. G
Dr. G

Dr. Jay Goodbinder ND DC DABCI is a doctor in Overland Park, KS who serves patients in surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.

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